Yes, you can hack your Android Wear watch: Here’s how to start

Over the weekend, I was trying to find a better way to get music files on my Sony Smartwatch 3. As it stands now, Google Play Music is the mechanism but it’s an all or nothing affair; you can’t select songs, artists, or playlists, for example. Those with a Sony Xperia phone have a slightly better option with Sony’s Walkman app.

Neither of these choice sync music to Android Wear quickly, however, because both use a slow Bluetooth connection, as I noted in my first impressions of the Smartwatch 3. I was hoping to use a USB cable to speed up the process since the Smartwatch 3 hasĀ a standard microUSB port. No such luck, but I did find something interesting: how to get the Developer Options menu on my smartwatch.

Developer Options Android Wear

The process is actually the same as it is for [company]Google[/company] Nexus devices: Just find the About menu in your watch’s Settings menu, find the Android Wear software build number and tap it repeatedly. Your watch will tell you that a few more taps will make you a developer and then it adds the Developer Options menu.

Once you have that menu added, a number of additional choices and actions are available. I already enabled ADB debugging, which allows for running the ADB tool from a command line on a USB connected computer. ADB is pretty powerful; it’s used to flash recovery tools and custom software to Android devices, for example. I haven’t gone that far just yet, but I may look around the web to see what special software is out there for Google watches. I also see an option to debug over Bluetooth, which could be handy if I don’t have a USB cable with me.

Pointer option Android Wear

Although it’s less useful for my ultimate goal, I do see options to show the pointer location on my watch as well as the ability to show touches, which appear as a little circle on the watch face. Lastly, I found a Manufacturer option that has 10 sub-choices — one for testing each of the sensors inside the Smartwatch 3 as well as a few informational choices.

Choosing the Ambient Light Sensor, for example, shows the real-time current reading. I had fun covering the watch face to see the figure drop close to zero, only to have it rise up to 732 when placing the watch in front of a powerful LED bulb. I’ve also dabbled with the compass, gyroscope and accelerometer readings while twisting my wrist around.

Compass Android Wear

Again, these won’t help me get music to my watch any faster, but they’re fun little tools to play with. Now, on to the real goal since I’ve got a connection from my computer to my Smartwatch 3: Getting those particular tunes to my wrist.